Surety Victory for Pittsburgh Partner Tom Gebler

Thomas Gebler in our Pittsburgh office recently obtained dismissal of a complaint against a Pennsylvania surety company based on improper venue.  The Plaintiff, a subcontractor on a construction project in Massachusetts, filed suit in Pittsburgh seeking payment from a payment bond.  Although the bond did not contain venue provisions, it incorporated the terms of the underlying construction contract which provided:  “The parties mutually consent to submit to the jurisdiction of the federal and/or state courts of the State in which the Project is located. The parties shall bring any action or suit concerning the Contract Documents or related matters only in such federal or state courts.”  In dismissing the Complaint, the trial court rejected Plaintiff’s argument that the incorporated language of the construction contract only bound the parties to that contract and not the surety and the Plaintiff.